Two Champaign projects win architectural design awards from foundation

Two Champaign projects win architectural design awards from foundation

CHAMPAIGN – Two projects that transformed the area between downtown Champaign and Campustown won architectural design awards at the Champaign County Design and Conservation Foundation's annual meeting Sunday.

The city of Champaign received an award for the Second Street Reach component of its improvements to Boneyard Creek, and the Champaign Park District got an award for its renovation of Scott Park.

In a release, foundation board member Maureen McCord called the project designs "functional, attractive and well-integrated."

McCord, who was one of those who nominated the projects for the awards, said the projects provide storm water management "while creating a wonderful setting for those who live or work in the area and for the thousands of commuters who pass through it each day."

Steve Rugg, the foundation's board chair, said members were particularly pleased with the intergovernmental cooperation that went into the two projects.

The Hitchcock Design Group, Foth Infrastructure and Environment and Lin Engineering Ltd. were involved in project designs. O'Neil Brothers was the contractor.

The Champaign County Design and Conservation Foundation is a nonprofit group that seeks to improve the livability of the area, while conserving, restoring and enhancing the environment. It gives awards "intermittently," Rugg said, noting that last year Clark-Lindsey Village in Urbana was recognized for excellence in landscaping.

For the 2011-12 year, the foundation's top goal is trying to close a deal with CSX Transportation on property for the proposed Kickapoo Trail, a 24.5-mile recreational trail between Urbana and Kickapoo State Park west of Danville.

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District has already received grants for the project, and Rugg said he expects the foundation to launch a private fundraising campaign for the trail sometime in the next year.

The foundation also is likely to devote more time to reforestation efforts, now that the emerald ash borer has been spotted in Champaign County, Rugg said.

The scheduled speaker for Sunday's meeting was Andrea Faber Taylor, a horticulture instructor at the University of Illinois and a researcher with the UI's Landscape and Human Health Laboratory. She was to discuss the benefits of children spending time in green space.